Nearly flawless, Cabrillo Stage’s ‘Oklahoma!’ is musical theater at its finest
Oklahoma!” first opened on Broadway in March of 1943. From its first raised curtain, it was a bona fide hit and managed to run for more than 2,000 performances. Few were surprised—and even fewer minded—that it went on to be revived numerous times thereafter, enjoying national tours and foreign productions. The 1955 film version helped fuel its success, too—it created a real star out of then up-and-coming Shirley Jones. But somewhere as the show evolved, the musical love story set against the easy-breezy plains in 1906—the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (“Carousel,” “The King and I,” “The Sound of Music”)—managed to illuminate what it meant to be an American and, perhaps, what it is that makes us human.